As you may have seen from the Facebook live video yesterday we celebrated our year anniversary of when Samira popped the question! It surprises many people when they find out we weren’t best of friends before we started working together. We barely even knew each other! We were in fact competitors for many years. Our children go to the same school so we knew of each other. We would politely smile and inform the other one of how busy we were and how we must rush off as we had so many photo shoots to complete. I will admit there were times I could have reversed into Samira in the carpark ensuring she couldn’t work for a while but i’m pleased to say we remained amicable even though we were in competition with each other for business! I had taken a break from photography but had decided to come back with a re-launch. My studio under went a refurb and when I was finally happy with my lighting and new set up I dragged my son into the studio to test it all out.

Studio photography dorset

Almost immediately after posting the photo I had an influx of messages wishing me well as I made the big decision to return to photography. But one message stood out from all the others….SAMIRA! Why was she messaging me? Was she trying to find out some gossip? Was she going to warn me off?! I have to say I was beyond shocked when she popped the question….would you like to team up?! I thought she was joking, why would she want to join forces with me. Samira had a successful photography business, she was busy with newborns and cake smashes…what could she possibly gain from teaming up?

photography studio dorset teaming up

Of course I played hard to get…..ok I jumped at the chance and offered to meet up. We went to a soft play with the kids and chatted….a lot! We got on so well and most importantly we had the same vision and work ethic for this new venture. It’s fair to say things went ahead pretty quickly! From that first meeting where I accepted her proposal we went full steam ahead. We quickly decided we wanted to launch a new photography business with a new brand, new name, new logo and something that was ‘us’.

Over the next few weeks we met regularly and brainstormed ideas. We sent hundreds of messages to each other late into the night and then early the following morning. We were so excited our brains couldn’t switch off. We found a name we loved. It seemed perfect, we both loved it and the website address for it was available to buy. We thought this was the one…..until google taught us that it was a name for a raciest gang in America….probably not the image we were going for! So it was back to the drawing board!

Dorset photography studio logo

One morning it came to us ‘Hey Little You’ …. we loved it! It was different, it was unique, it was fun and quirky…it was the start of our brand! And most importantly it wasn’t affiliated with any gangs (that we know of!) So now the fun really started. We had decided to launch in October but we had so much to do. We had a designer create our logo and I started designing our new website. Samira moved into the studio with me…..and wow did she bring a lot of stuff! Everyday she would arrive with a car full of props, blankets, headbands and hats. We sorted through all of our stuff, chucking everything that wasn’t in keeping with our style and we kept everything we loved. It soon became clear that we needed some decent storage so we headed off to Ikea like 2 kids going to a sweet shop.

Photography studio storage dorset

We decided to keep our new launch a secret, we wanted to create a real excitement over our big reveal when it happened….and secretly I think we were worried we wouldn’t be ready for the date we had casually set in the soft play that day! It felt like we were having an affair. The children returned to school but we didn’t want people to know things had changed. We would give a discreet wave to each other on the school run and then would meet up at the studio!

During these next few weeks things were hectic! We wanted people to be able to feel our brand from the minute we launched. We were working insane hours but it was different this time. It was so much fun. We laughed every day…not just giggles…full on belly laughs! We also quickly found out a lot about each other. During a promo shoot we were inflating balloons when one popped….someone walking by came into the studio to check there hadn’t been a shooting from the hysterical screams that could be heard from both of us. Yes, that’s right we are both petrified of balloons, we hate flying, we love fast food and when Samira’s partner comes by the studio with KFC for us we are at our happiest…thanks Chris!!! I soon realised Samira can only function when she is drip fed coffee throughout the day and so I quickly learnt how to make a perfect cup of strong coffee.

dorset photography studio launch

It all seemed too good to be true. I think we were both waiting for the first big argument, the first time we disagreed about something or the day we ran out of coffee. But i’m so pleased to say it hasn’t happened! I can’t believe it’s been a year since Samira sent that messaged that changed our lives….I know that sounds super dramatic but it literally has changed our lives. We come to work everyday and enjoy what we do. Clients feel this too when they have photo shoots with us, we get so much feedback about how much fun and how relaxed they feel in the studio. For us this was our number one priority. From that very first meeting we agreed that it was all about the customer experience. From the minute you hear about us until you receive your photos….and beyond…we want you to feel a valued part of our business. We want you leaving having had a good experience with a few giggles along the way.

We have had so many incredible photo shoots together, we love photographing together and wouldn’t do it any other way. Our sessions flow better, they are quicker and less stressful for parents. You get to sit back and relax whilst we do our ‘thing’!

We had gorgeous Barnaby in for a newborn session on our anniversary and his lovely mummy snapped a photo of us at work, doing what we love!

newborn photographers at work dorset

It’s crazy to think what we have achieved in a year, this month we have been fully booked and it looks set to carry on for the rest of the year! I’m so excited to see where we go on this crazy journey together. I know I forgot it was our proposal anniversary yesterday and i’m not one to express my emotions (thank goodness Samira is the same and doesn’t wanted to be hugged constantly!) but I just want to say thank you for asking me to be your work wife! It’s amazing to have someone to laugh with, chat to, come up with ideas and record crazy live videos with. I wouldn’t swap you for anyone and wouldn’t have it any other way!
Rachel x